Real life

Why the Tories won’t let me display a local election poster

1 May 2021

9:00 AM

1 May 2021

9:00 AM

Being told by the Tories not to put a local election poster in my window because it will only remind people why they don’t like them has reminded me why I don’t like them.

It also put my blood pressure up, according to my newly delivered blood pressure monitor. I strapped the thing to my arm while I was arguing with a Tory councillor about why they wouldn’t give me a Vote Conservative poster: 136/84. Nowhere near as high as it was in the doctor’s surgery, but still…

This happens every election. I always offer the local Conservatives the run of my front garden, which borders the village green, and they always politely decline my offer to display a banner or placard in a prime spot.

Sometimes I ask more forcefully for a poster regardless of what they want, because I really want one. They then try to claim they haven’t got any.

I complain and threaten to let the builder boyfriend make one out of a tarpaulin and black spray paint, like he did with Brexit. And they ignore my texts and emails.

Having thrown a hissy fit during Theresa May’s tenure, and written a rude letter to my local association telling them I was voting for Nigel Farage’s lot in the European Parliament elections to put pressure on the government to implement Brexit, and having had the desired effect, together with all the other voters who did that, I then voted for Boris at the general election. I suppose I should back the Tories at the May local elections.

I’m not as violently unhappy as some people are with Boris’s only moderately headless chicken-like handling of the worst crisis to do with a communicable disease since the Black Death, added to which my next door neighbour is one of those ‘independent’ candidates who claim not to have any motivation, politically, aside from caring for what local people really want.

Except he used to be a Lib Dem. Once a Lib Dem always a Lib Dem, and there’s the small matter of his wife writing me letters claiming that the party wall between our terraced homes isn’t actually where it looks like it is, and there is a ‘strange anomaly’ whereby they own more than half the chimney stack, so their loft room should be inside our loft room, or something.

I read a few lines and put these letters on the side for the builder boyfriend who likes to enjoy them with his dinner as they make tears of laughter stream down his face.

I just want a Conservative poster in my window. With this in mind, I texted a local Tory councillor and told her to please feel free to send me one. And she texted back that it was a very kind offer, and she would love to wind up the competition, but she was not doing posters or placards because ‘all they really do is remind the opposition to vote’.

In other words, keep your head down, keep quiet and give a clear run to the people who put notes through your door claiming that the wall between your houses has not been where it should be since they were built more than 100 years ago.

Incidentally, the builder boyfriend has worked out that where they might have made their bloomer is by looking at the front garden wall, which doesn’t match where the paint line between the houses is, being out by a foot, and needing to be knocked down and moved further to their side, making their garden slightly smaller, actually.

But instead of writing to tell us that the garden wall needs moving, they write to suggest both our houses need knocking down and moving.

And this chap is standing for election to continue to poke around in all the planning applications submitted to Guildford council. So I ask you, can the Tories not be bothered to shoot fish in a barrel? Obviously not.

Of course, you need to see the letters through the prism of me having been granted planning permission for a loft conversion. I do realise there are those who take the view that if you can start a dispute over where the party line is, you can frustrate your neighbour’s building works.

Our renovations have been going on for three years when they should have been done in six months, which would be stressful if it weren’t for the fact that the builder b is in charge of them and he thrives on conflict.

I used to think I did, but then the blood pressure monitor arrived: 136/84 while arguing about the Conservative poster; 130/84 after rowing with a cyclist at the farm. But those readings are only ‘pre-high’ blood pressure. So I don’t think I need to give in just yet.

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